The Secret Life of Pets may be one of the oddest animated films produced by a major studio; it’s quite simple in its premise, yet the film takes so many bizzare turns that it’s hard to pin down. While the story and characters are completely generic, the film has a wicked sense of humor, which transitions from jokes pandering to kids to gags that will fly right over their heads.
Max (Louis C.K.), a dog in New York, is happily living in an apartment with his owner Katie. While life seems great for Max, his life is turned upside down when Katie brings in Duke, a stray dog who immediately clashes with Max. Caught in a conflict, Max and Duke are lost in the city, forced to bond within a world of crazy animals.
The film pulls easy gags involving the animals, but the more bizzare and unique elements of the film make it all the more interesting. It’s odd; the film doesn’t feel like a family film, with some of the humor feeling dark and bizzare, but there’s just enough simplicity and goofiness to classify it as a film for kids. While the film doesn’t have the heart, it has the humor, and it certainly makes some of the strangest humor choices of any film this year. Grade: B-